Bravo Farms Cheese Recall Expanded

Following a recall of its Dutch Style Gouda cheese, Bravo Farms just expanded the recall to include all of its cheeses. This, following an <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">E. coli outbreak that originated with the recalled Gouda earlier this month, said My Desert.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at least 25 cases of E. coli have been linked to Bravo Farms cheese in five western states, said My Desert. Some were sickened with the dangerous, sometimes deadly, food borne infection after tasting the cheese at promotional events held from October 5th through November 1st at Costco stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California, wrote My Desert, citing a Costco press release.

Follow-up testing conducted at Bravo Farm’s factory revealed not only E. coli, but Listeria monocytogenes, according to Bravo, reported My Desert. No illnesses have been reported, to date, related to Listeria; however, food borne illnesses can take time to manifest. In addition to Gouda, Bravo Farms sells pepper jack, Tulare Cannonball, and a range of different cheddars; all have been recalled.

We recently reported that the same strain of E. coli bacteria was linked to 33 illnesses and is the strain found in the Bravo Farms Gouda cheese sold at Costco. The outbreak involves a rare strain of E. coli O157:H7 that the CDC has never seen before in its PulseNet database, a national pathogen-subtyping network.

On November 4, federal officials and Costco stores warned customers not to eat a raw milk Gouda cheese made by Bravo Farms, based in Traver, California. At that time, the CDC had received reports of only 25 illnesses in five states that had links to the product. The E. coli cases are being reported in the following states: 15 in Arizona, 10 in Colorado, 3 each in California and New Mexico, and 2 in Nevada. The CDC said 15 of the patients were hospitalized, including one with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal kidney complication. Patients range in age from one to 81, with October 24th as the latest illness onset date. No deaths have been reported.

E. coli matching the outbreak strain was found in samples from two opened packages from two different patients’ homes, and preliminary tests from an unopened package from a Costco store were positive for E coli O157:H7, the CDC said. Also, tests on samples from opened packages from two more patients revealed E coli O157:H7; testing continues.

Consumers in possession of the recalled cheese should not eat it and should either return the cheese to the place of purchase or dispose of the cheese in a closed plastic bag, placing it in sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating it. Costco is offering full refunds.

Most people infected with E. coli O157:H7 develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. While most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection. Listeria monocytogenes is a dangerous organism, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Help filing claims and other legal assistance for the victims of food borne illness, including E. coli and Listeria, is available at <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">www.YourLawyer.com.

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